Hierarchical workplace romance: An experimental examination of team member perceptions

  • Jones G
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Abstract

Using a 2 × 2 × 2 experimental design and data from 158 subjects, this study assessed the effects of three romance participant characteristics and respondent gender on reactions to working with team members involved in a hierarchical workplace romance. The romance participant characteristics included: (a) marital status of the team leader (married versus single); (b) marital status of a coworker (married versus single); and (c) gender of the team leader–coworker dyad (male–female versus female–male). Significant effects were found for team leader marital status, coworker marital status, and gender of the respondent. This study also examined attributions of blame and attributions of motive (job-related, ego, or love) to the romantic couple for engaging in the workplace romance. Results indicated that the team leader was more frequently attributed blame, yet attribution of blame was affected by the marital status of both the team leader and the coworker. Both the team leader and the coworker were most frequently attributed an ego motive for the involvement. Implications for work teams and managerial policies are discussed.

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Authors

  • Gwen E. Jones

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